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Stock Market Today: Market Simmers, But Marijuana Stocks Blaze On

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Kyle Woodley, Senior Investing Editor
·3 min read
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Tuesday's trading session was a mostly mixed affair from the start, albeit one that still managed to push (some of?) the major indices even further into record territory, if only marginally.

A proposed $1.9 billion stimulus plan came further into focus, with President Joe Biden saying he agreed with a Democratic proposal setting thresholds for the $1,400 direct payments: Individuals earning up to $75,000 (and households earning up to $150,000) would be eligible for the full amount.

The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index took a surprising tumble in January, however, declining to 95.0, which is three points below its 47-year average of 98.

"The COVID-19 pandemic continues to dictate how small businesses operate and owners are worried about future business conditions and sales," says NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg.

Despite that, the small-cap Russell 2000 was the best of the major indices, improving 0.4% to a new high of 2,299. The Nasdaq Composite (+0.1% to 14,007) also finished with a record close.

Other action in the stock market today:

  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished marginally lower to 31,375.

  • The S&P 500 slipped 0.1% to 3,911.

  • U.S. crude oil futures improved by 0.7% to $58.36 per barrel.

  • Gold futures extended their winning streak to three sessions, gaining 0.2% to $1,837.50 per ounce.

  • Bitcoin prices, at $44,134 on Monday, surged another 6.9% to $47,200. (Bitcoin trades 24 hours a day; prices reported here are as of 4 p.m. each trading day.)

stock chart for 020921
stock chart for 020921

In the Spotlight: Marijuana Stocks

The market might have been tepid Tuesday, but one budding industry continues to be white-hot.

Marijuana stocks delivered another day of spectacular gains, with the ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF (MJ) of cannabis-related companies surging 13.4%, bringing its year-to-date gains to 101.3%.

While much of 2021's gains can be chalked up to enthusiasm for the Biden administration's seemingly friendly eye toward marijuana, Tuesday's excitement was tethered to something more concrete: the earnings calendar. Producer Canopy Growth (CGC, +11.9%) reported yet another large quarterly net loss, but a better-than-expected 33% jump in revenues, and it's predicting it will turn a profit in 2022.

"Operating expenses declined, and Canopy Growth remains very well positioned with C$1.6 billion of cash and a strong partner in Constellation Brands to help Canopy expand its global distribution," adds Jason Wilson, cannabis research and banking expert with ETFMG.

Marijuana remains a very "Wild West" industry that's chock full of risk – but rising asset values show investor interest is strong and increasing. Those considering dipping in a foot, or maybe even just a toe, are likely better served in MJ or similar funds, such as our 2021 ETF suggestion.

But for those with the risk appetite and the desire to make a splash, these 10 marijuana stocks are among the most attractive entryways into this industry.

Kyle Woodley was long Bitcoin as of this writing.